Daytrippin': Museum of Anthropology


Published:

Thanks to Wake Forest University's Museum of Anthropology, you don't have to visit a foreign country to see woven masks from Papua New Guinea, ancient Mayan pottery or a Samoan skirt. You can see all of these things and more at the museum, which is located on the university's Winston-Salem campus. Budget-conscious families will appreciate the museum's free admission, but the real treasure is learning about other cultures in a fun environment.

"The Museum of Anthropology provides families with an opportunity to experience different global cultures in a fun and educational setting," says Sara Cromwell, the public relations, marketing and membership coordinator of the museum. "Children can be exposed to peoples and cultures that they might not otherwise encounter through the museum's exhibits and events, many of which are free to the public.

Ideal for elementary-school age children and up, the museum can be explored by scavenger hunt. Young explorers are asked to identify four objects from the current exhibits such as a damarau (storage jar) from Papua New Guinea, a painted Mayan ceramic plate or a traditional costume created by Kuna women.

Kids love games, so the scavenger hunt is a great way to get young visitors more engaged with the exhibits on display. There's also a slightly more challenging scavenger hunt for middle-school and high-school students.

There are currently five exhibits at the museum. "Culture & Couture," which runs through Aug. 20, displays some of the museum's permanent collection of traditional costumes from across the globe. The garments show how clothing expresses religious beliefs, gender norms and social status. Here you find a kimono from Japan, Moroccan fez (hat), thobe (robe-type garment) from Saudi Arabia, Mexican huipil (blouse), and more.

"How Do They Know? The Science of Archaeology in the Yadkin River Valley" displays artifacts and information about the Native American groups that lived in the Piedmont. The exhibit also explores the role of the archeologist in learning about past civilizations.

"African Religion: Nothing Was or Will Be Except God" explores how traditional African people express their spiritual beliefs through places, person and objects. The exhibit examines areas basic to African religious systems: creation, spiritual places, life transitions, death and ancestors, social and political life, and effects of globalization.

Visitors to the "Art of Earth, Art of Sky: Maya Cosmic Imagery" exhibit will find ceramic bowls, painted plates, murals, a wooden mask and several ceramic figurines. These items represent different beliefs about the universe in ancient and contemporary Maya culture.

"Face to Face: The Arts of Exchange in Mainland Papua New Guinea" uses woven masks, pottery and religious objects to show the role of trade in Papua New Guinea.

In addition to these exhibits, the museum also hosts family-friendly fun days three times a year. Last month, the museum hosted Exploring Japan Family Day, which featured traditional Japanese music, food, arts and crafts, and more. Be sure to check the museum's website for upcoming events.

Whether you visit the museum's exhibits or attend one of the family days, the Museum of Anthropology is a wonderful resource for parents who want their kids to think globally. Learning about other cultures can foster a greater understanding of the world and appreciation for other people, past and present.

IF YOU GO
Museum of Anthropology
Wake Forest University
Behind Kentner Stadium on WFU's Reynolda Campus in Winston-Salem
336-758-5282 
www.wfu.edu/moa

Hours & Admission
Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Admission is free, but donations accepted.

Summer Camp
This summer, the museum will also host a summer day camp, African Adventures, for children ages 6-12 from 9 a.m. to noon. There are three one-week sessions: July 11-15, July 18-22 and July 25-29. Cost is $100 for one week or $85 for museum members. The day camp will use music, art, stories and games to explore various African cultures. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

8 Scenic Drives in North Carolina for Families

North Carolina is home to many scenic routes for families who enjoy road-tripping.

Family-Friendly Fall Festivals in North Carolina

Venture out of town for a day trip or weekend getaway to enjoy one or more of the state's best fests.

Kid-Friendly Music Festivals in the Carolinas

Regional music festivals offer fun for the whole family.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Newsletter Sign-Up

Stay connected to what's going on for kids and families in the Triad by signing up for our FREE e-newsletters!

Subscribe

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

The all-new 2015-2016 Education Guide is packed with everything parents need to know to navigate more than 500 education options and resources in the Triad, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

GPS [Go. Play. See]

It's your complete family guide to Triad living. Parents are busy and on the go. Use this guide to help you explore all this great area offers for families in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and surrounding communities.

Exceptional Child

For parents of kids with special needs, finding help and support can be challenging. We've compiled valuable resources for Triad parents in our latest annual publication, Exceptional Child, which is also available as a digital guide.